I was browsing a local hardware store for some hooks last week and happened to walk by the electrical wire and chain link department. Ordinarily, I never give those aisles a second look, it’s typically your mundane chain link and boring wire, but at my local Orchard Supply & Hardware they had about a dozen reels of chain link labeled ‘decorative’ that actually looked attractive enough to create something with. I spied some brass plated and smallish silver link chain and all I could think was, you know what, those would make some cool looking bracelets.
Jewelry or handbag quality chain link is available from a lot of places and at all price points, but at that moment I was completely absorbed with the idea of making something pretty out of that decorative chain link from a home improvement store. Plus I’m all about statement jewelry these days, I’m rarely drawn to dainty pieces anymore. So here’s my latest crafty somewhat quirky creation: link bracelets made with decorative chain found at a hardware store.
To make these, you actually need some decent looking chain link, I happened to spy several that were pretty cool at my local OSH.
You’ll also need some pliers and some jewelry making supplies too, specifically lobster clasps and smaller jump rings to pull it all together. Glass beads add a little class to the edginess of the oversized (and cheap!) chain link.
Cost per bracelet: Lobster clasps $2.79; jump rings $2.79, glass beads $5.99, 1½ ft chain link $2.
I used the pliers to pull apart the chain into three sections of six links each, then attached the lobster clasps, jump rings, and emerald beads to form the first bracelet.
I have to tell you, it feels fabulous on, so heavy and chunky and I love the gold and emerald combo. Bonus, my man was totally impressed too. (I can always tell when he says “You made that?” and I say “Yep” and he says “Nice.”) So anytime anyone asks me about it I’ll be all “Yo, check out my bling from the hardware store.”
Who votes I make a necklace like this . . .
And I show up at the next blog conference like this.
What? Too much?
Ok, maybe so. The five chain silver version also turned out really cute and is slightly more subtle than Mr. T.
Note, these smaller silver links were soldered together, so you’ll need to use the bolt cutters at the store to cut the individual sets of links, unless you have heavy gauge bold cutters in your tool chest.
So that’s last week’s jewelry making project crafted from chain link from a hardware store. Fun to make, inexpensive, and these pieces definitely make a statement.